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painting rope and tow cables
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Member Since: June 26, 2002
entire network: 817 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 08:47 PM UTC
How do you guys paint your ropes and tow cables. I find when using rope to simulate tow cables they are difficult to paint.
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England - South West, United Kingdom
Member Since: April 19, 2002
entire network: 138 Posts
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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2002 - 09:37 PM UTC
Difficult this one... If you use nylon thread the fibres stick up, so you draw them over a candle to smooth 'em out - That makes it difficult to get the paint to stick.
I like to use nylon thread, which is available in different colours and can be tinted by drawing over pastel chalks before waxing.
Steel tow cables are easier - Picture hanging wire works for me - the cheaper the better - soaked over night in vinegar to remove the coating then drybrushed in enamels. Some brands with aot of iron in the wire even start to rust a bit after a few days. Try experimenting to see what works for you.
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New York, United States
Member Since: April 26, 2002
entire network: 876 Posts
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Posted: Friday, December 13, 2002 - 06:17 AM UTC
another way is to put a few drops of CA glue on the cable if you using thread. it will dry hard and paintable.

Josh Weingarten
aKa shiryon
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United States
Member Since: October 24, 2002
entire network: 191 Posts
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Posted: Friday, December 13, 2002 - 07:56 AM UTC
A method that I used, before going to the picture hanging wire, was to soak the string in a heavy black wash. After it dries and stiffens a little, give it a light dry brushing of silver or metallic paint.

Good Luck,

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Noord-Brabant, Netherlands
Member Since: February 05, 2003
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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 05:02 AM UTC
Hiya, godfather! Better late than never. What I allways do with ropes and tow-cables is this: I fix them on the model with simple model-glue, when it's stiffed up, I use very fine-grained sandpaper to smooth things up. Let it dry for several days, give it a base coat of gun metal, and finsh dry-brushing with silver, buff and sand.
Works for me!
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Milano, Italy
Member Since: September 02, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 06:07 AM UTC
Usually i make them with a nylon thread (the one the brichies use to attach a lead to and see if walls are straight) it hasn't problems of extra hair coming out, it's very cheap and you can find almost in any hardware store. I like it because is very flexible and you can easily bend it around any surface in a natural looking way. To allow it to keep the shape, prior to use it put in a 50% solution of water and white glue and let it dry almost completely, then put int place. When completely dried it gets any paint very nicely and you can subsequently dry brush it without any problem.
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: October 22, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:18 AM UTC
Depends on what you are modelling.
GERMAN WWII Armour tow cables have a left hand twist
US / Allied forces WWII / modern has a right hand twist.

Paint the rope or cotton thread or picture hanging wire (which is best), matt black and drybrush with silver (I do mine in silver fox) paint when the black is dry. EASY!
The "tow wire" can be shaped before painted to simulate the stiffness when the black paint dries.
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Milano, Italy
Member Since: September 02, 2002
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Posted: Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 08:24 AM UTC
On modern AFVs in service with our army the tow cables are always of the main color of the tank, so I paint them that color, i give them a dark wash, and finally a dry brush first with gun metal and then with aluminium (or silver)
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Rhode Island, United States
Member Since: May 10, 2002
entire network: 3,581 Posts
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Posted: Monday, February 24, 2003 - 11:14 AM UTC
If you home make them,these are all good ideas.But when I can,i buy Hudson and Allen ones.Already the right color,and they come with the appropriate ends
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Donegal, Ireland
Member Since: May 14, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, February 25, 2003 - 09:29 AM UTC
If you use nylon ropes ........ dip them in white glue diluted with water, take them out and let dry. Dry off excess glue with some pads so the glue doesnt smudge the rope pattern. This stops any threading, and makes painting easier. Leave laying flat and straight while drying!